SPOKANE, Wash. — Since Saturday, Spokane and the entire Inland Northwest have been plagued by poor to outright hazardous air quality.
At one point on Saturday, a public health alert was issued in Spokane, recommending people stay inside. The week since, the air quality has stayed unhealthy due to wildfire smoke.
This has been particularly challenging for Bloomsday runners trying to get their final workouts in before the virtual race.
Now that we're on the doorstep of the iconic Spokane event, the air quality is still in the unhealthy range. But the air quality is set to improve for this weekend.
While runners can choose what time and what 12 kilometer (7.46 mile) course to run, runners will have to complete and submit their time between Sept. 18 - 27.
Air Quality and Weather Forecast
Friday, Sept. 18: The latest projections for the wildfire smoke and resulting poor air quality will likely remain in place over Spokane and all of eastern Washington through the day. Improvements will slowly come in for central Washington and the southwest in the evening hours. Anticipate another day with unhealthy air quality.
The relief is in the form of a new air mass and rainfall and thunderstorms in the late evening hours. The rain could start as early as 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 19: Morning showers and thunderstorms will be over Spokane and North Idaho through about 9 a.m. to noon. This will effectively clear out the wildfire smoke and drastically improve the air quality. The Air Quality Alert in place over the region is set to expire at 10 a.m. Saturday. It'll be safe to bet that outdoor conditions will be breathable by then.
Temperature-wise, the morning hours will be in the mid- to upper- 50s. A chance of showers possible in the afternoon with high temps in the low- 70s.
Sunday, Sept. 20: Air quality concerns will be a thing of the past. Conditions turn mostly sunny. Morning low temperatures will be around 50 degrees with afternoon highs in the low-70s again.
Needless to say, Saturday and Sunday will be much better weather and air quality conditions to run Bloomsday as opposed to Friday. Best of luck to all the runners this year!